Egypt's President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi approved a law on Monday regulating the National Electoral Commission (NEC), which is set to run the 2018 presidential election, as an "independent" body. A presidential decree stipulates that only the NEC is authorised to manage and supervise referenda as well as presidential, parliamentarian and municipal elections in accordance with the law.
The NEC law was passed in the Egyptian parliament, the House of Representatives, on 4 July, and was awaiting the president's approval.
According to the NEC law and the constitution, the commission is authorised to prepare and review a database of voters regularly, call on voters to vote in referenda and elections, determine election dates and times, and receive and make decisions on candidacy applications.
The NEC board consists of 10 members, made up of senior judges from the Court of Cassation, the Court of Appeals, the State Council, the State Cases Authority and/or the Administrative Prosecution Authority. They will be nominated for a six-year tenure by the Higher Council for Judges, pending the Egyptian president's approval.
The prime minister's advisor for electoral matters, Rifaat Komsan, said recently that the first election for the NEC to run and supervise will be the upcoming presidential election, which is expected to be held next summer.
Prior to the approval of the new NEC law, a judicial commission was authorised to run referenda and parliamentary elections. A second judicial commission was in charge of presidential elections and a third, headed by the Local Development Minister, had responsibility for running municipal elections.